A Special Weekly Series for the Easter Season
Reflections on the hymn Christ Arose
Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV
One of my favorite songs of Jesus’ resurrection is Christ Arose by Robert Lowry. The verses are somber in tune and tempo as they describe Jesus waiting for the coming day when He would be free of the grave, having torn the bars of death away. Then the triumphant refrain follows each verse. It is powerful and bright, often with trumpets joining the singers in declaring Christ’s victory! “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes.”Christ is the Victor in the battle with sin and death. He lives forever! “He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
Verse 1. Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior, Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord! Refrain: Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! Verse 2. Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus, my Savior; Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus, my Lord! Verse 3. Death cannot keep his Prey, Jesus, my Savior; He tore the bars away, Jesus, my Lord! Robert Lowry, 1874. Public domain. What joy fills my soul when I sing the words of His triumph!
Jesus Christ won the war with the devil. Jesus conquered the power of sin and death. We know from Scripture that He also will win the final battle when the devil is cast into the lake of burning sulfur, never to deceive us again (Revelation 20).
So why is it that I sometimes act like Jesus hasn’t won the war? Why do I still struggle with sin? I know God wants me to follow His direction and to become more and more like Jesus. Sometimes that bad attitude pops back up. I insist that my rights are being trampled, or something is being done the wrong way and impacts me. On the freeway a driver cuts me off so I have to miss my exit, and I fume at the person’s rudeness. The devil is a schemer. He knows my weak spots.
Do you ever feel this way?
The Apostle Paul struggled with sin, too. In Romans 7, Paul declares “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ my Lord!”
Reading through Scripture reassures me of victory in my own life, too. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)
He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
Like Paul, we have victory in Jesus! Jesus Christ set us free from the dark domain of sin and death. We’re no longer slaves to sin, because Jesus paid our price. We don’t have to let sin reign, but can offer ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness. Sin isn’t our master because we are not under the law but under grace. (Romans 6) If Christ lives in us, we will reign with Him.
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Watch for the rest of this four-part special Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.
3/18/21 Part 1- At the Cross; 3/25/21 Part 2 – The Old Rugged Cross ; 4/1/21 Part 3 – Christ Arose; 4/8/21 Part 4 – Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Devotionals post every other Thursday (Special series may occur more frequently, such as the Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.) They are archived under Devotionals.